Cardiology FAQ's

Blood pressure:  How high is too high?

Blood pressure has two numbers associated with it, the higher one (the systolic) refers to the peak pressure generated by the contracting heart.  The second lower number (diastolic) is the number, which is determined by the runoff of blood in the body when the heart is relaxed.  Current recommendations are that these numbers should be 120/80 or less.  You may notice that this is a much more aggressive number than we have allowed in the past.  High blood pressure is the number one cause of stroke in the American population.  Rarely do we find curative causes for high blood pressure, and usually medical therapy of some type is required.  Simple things such as weight loss and the elimination of sodium from your diet can help in over 1/3 of the cases to restore blood pressure to normal. 

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